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Outgoing Justice Minister Disappointed With ICAC Blockage

Source: Post Courier, April 23, 2019

OUTGOING Justice Minister and Attorney General Steven Davis has expressed frustration at the delay in giving power to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

He blamed the ‘Waigani jungle’ and the lack of commitment from senior public servants to get the ICAC Bill back to Parliament. The Bill was passed 91-0 almost 5 years ago.

Government waters down ICAC bill

Papua New Guinea’s proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption could end up being an ineffective and toothless organisation as a result of government changes to the draft ICAC bill [can be downloaded below].

Expert analysis shows the government has watered down the draft legislation to remove key powers from the proposed agency, despite claims to the contrary from the Prime Minister and Attorney General.

Why an ICAC is needed, not another fruitless inquiry

The Prime Minister’s announcement of an Administrative Inquiry into the Manumanu land deals and naval base relocation is just another exercise in covering up corruption and avoiding justice.

We have seen numerous lengthy and expensive Commission’s of Inquiry over the years but no action to address the corrupt behavior they uncover. It will be the same with the latest inquiry, whether it is termed as a Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Inquiry.

New law creating an ICAC passed by Parliament

Last week Parliament passed a new law creating an Independent Commission Against Corruption.

This was the second and final piece of legislation needed in the process of establsihing an ICAC. The first legal change, amending the Constitution, was passed in November 2013.

ACT NOW! has been campaigning for an ICAC since AN! was established in 2010 and the fight against stealing from the public purse is one of ACT NOW!'s key campaigns.

Politicians need to stay out of anti corruption inquiries

The people of PNG will remain skeptical about any anti-corruption bodies or investigations as long as they see politicians interfering in due process and trying to avoid legitimate questions.

Whether it is Task Force Sweep or an Interim Office Against Corruption politicians need to stay out and not use their high office and ready access to lawyers and the courts to manipulate the system.

When invited for questioning, arrested or charged, ordinary Papua New Guinean's cannot use the courts to try and avoid answering to normal police and court processes.